Why Aakash is just a showpiece at CES

CIOL Bureau
New Update


BANGALORE, INDIA: As the unbelievably superfast and incredibly hi-tech gadgets are paraded at the Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas for once is in news for everything that is electronic and please, excuse casinos from the list for now. What is here is purely a demonstration of the power of innovation.

HP's glassy encased Spectre is being raved about, Intel's gesture-sensitive laptop is given rare reviews even as speculations are rife about Sony unveiling the PS4. If Huwaei's Ascend is touted as the slimmest smartphone, Lenovo's tablet with a gesture recognition software is the most awaited.

Well, technology is exciting, but it is a fact that it comes for a price. None of these products come cheap. And those which aren't exorbitantly priced are never publicized.


For many, it would be news that India's low-cost tablet Aakash, which made huge waves across the world, is being showcased at the CES. Datawind's vice-president Vijendra K Gupta has confirmed that Aakash and its upgraded version Ubislate 7 are already there. But has anyone heard about them? In case, I missed it.

Even on the last day, media is mum on the world's cheapest Android-based seven-inch tablet and perhaps critics feel there is nothing to write about it.

Is it because the product is from India?

Agreed, India is not a big name in tech products, but it could be a mistake to ignore it as far as information technology is concerned with the number of Internet users in the country set to cross 120 million. Priced at $35, Aakash has won huge accolades from across the world with demands for supply pouring in from the US, China, Thailand and other south East

Asian countries.


Realistically, Aakash is not as popular as Samsung Galaxy and it needs extra efforts for promotion. It requires much more than just taking the product to the show that too on a foreign land. Moreover when India hasn't made big launches in the recent past. Unlike in sports, mere participation isn't enough for technology products.

Low price a crime?

Is Aakash paying the price for being low priced? Generally, low price is subtly synonymous with poor quality. Certainly, Aakash is meant for making the lives of common people easier at an affordable price. But it lacks the Lenovo kind of brand (read pricing) to get deserving space in the stalls at CES.


Whatever be the reasons, it would be wrong to say that every product showcased at CES will be a success. Ultimately, whether consumers will buy it will depend on the design and the price. And in the case of Aakash, price it its USP.

Marketing is no rocket science

Making and marketing a product require completely different expertise. When Apple's Steve Jobs removed the iPod from his pocket to launch it in 2006, many a heart skipped a beating. There was such fanfare to the event that even if a small wire was introduced there, it would have got the same huge response.

Definitely, it is hard to find out what a customer wants, all that a company can do is work towards making it sought-after. As Steve Jobs once said: “It’s not about pop culture, and it’s not about fooling people, and it’s not about convincing people that they want something they don’t. There’s a great quote by Henry Ford, 'If I’d have asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me ‘A faster horse."